1. It’s hard to keep up a blog in the summertime. To any regular followers, sorry for the lack of content lately. I’ve been doing stuff. Outside. The sun is a fleeting commodity in Seattle. I’ll be back to regular posting at some point…

    In the meantime, I do have my beautiful XR650R for sale if anyone is interested.

     
  2. After an awesome week in Chicago, we got back in town last night just in time to catch the sunset on a great Backfire Motorcycle Night here in Seattle. Here’s some selects from my iPhone, including a gorgeous original GSX-R 750. 

    See my other posts from previous Backfire Moto Nights here.

     
  3. Man’s Gotta Ride - Adam’s Yamaha XT500 wheelie machine in the Rainier Valley

     
  4. Man’s Gotta Ride

    My friend Adam Hoff and I decided to take a little day trip to the mountains today to have some fun on our dual sports. Starting on Tinkham Road, it wasn’t too far off the beaten trail before we hit snow, well before where Grant Ray, Thor Drake, and myself reached last November. We still had a great time, finding some fun roads around Keechelus Lake near Snoqualmie Pass and some unmaintained offshoots with some decent puddles, water crossings, and moderately rough terrain. It was Adam’s first time taking his KTM Super Enduro 950 off pavement, and his findings were that the faster he rode, the more comfortable it was, and the slower he went, the heavier it felt. Overall it’s pretty nimble for a giant dirt bike. We also stopped by a Forest Service Ranger Station at the Pass, and the friendly rangers gave us a couple maps with some ORV areas. As the weather warms and melts the snow, I’m excited to go back up and explore, especially the Forest Service roads between Keechelus and Little Kachess Lakes just east of Hyak. All this and we were back in Seattle by 2:30 PM.

     
  5. If you happen to be in the Seattle area in the next week or so you should definitely get down to M.I.A Gallery for The Great Vision. Following up the strong show of beautiful Malick Sidibé photos, M.I.A is featuring an incredible exhibition of Delphine Diaw Diallo’s images from a trip she took to the Crow Country of Southern Montana. What you see here is just a sample of some of the great photos you’ll see at the gallery. Check out M.I.A Gallery on facebook here. If you are interested in more Native culture, art and awareness, be sure to watch Aaron Huey’s TED talk as well.

     
  6. Man’s Gotta Eat

    On Friday night we ate at our favorite local Thai restaurant, Spice Room. Occasional annoyances with strange service are always completely forgot about as soon as we take our first bites. Sometimes pad thai is pad thai, and it’s alright (at it’s worst it’s a tomatoey mess), and sometimes it’s something special. I don’t know where they found the cooks at Spice Room (my guess is Thailand) but they are consistently on point. The Pad Thai is always the perfect balance of zingy tamarind sweetness and savory spice, and you can’t go wrong at 2 or 3 stars on the heat index. Drunken Noodles is another favorite, a chili-basil based sauce on wide rice noodles. And for a treat order the Crispy Garlic Chicken as an appetizer, as it’s overwhelming as a meal but perfect to share. Get a pot of the lychee black tea and call it good. If you find yourself hungry in the Columbia City area of Seattle, do yourself a favor and give Spice Room a try. Otherwise you could just go to Thailand and cook with poo.

     
  7. Man’s Gotta Ride

    Chalk up another failed forecast as we had a gloriously beautiful day here in Seattle. Keep ‘em coming!

     
  8. To balance out the heaviness of the Kony video, check out these amazing African images. Malick Sidibé is an incredible African photographer from Bamako, Mali. A collection of his images are currently being shown at M.I.A Gallery here in Seattle. Some of my favorites include a series with people on motorbikes and another with people and various music players. A google image search of his name will bring up an extensive assortment of his photos, but seeing them printed in person is definitely worthwhile. My girlfriend fell so in love with the little girl shaking her head and that she is purchasing a print. Some photographers have the gift of being able to artfully capture the style and grace of people in a time and place, and Sidibé certainly has that knack. He has created a recognizable look and undoubtedly left a lasting mark on the photography world. Choosing just a few of these images was difficult, there are just so many good ones. If nothing else click here to see more. You can also watch a documentary about him and his studio in Bamako, Dolce Vita Africana.

     
  9. Man’s Gotta Ride — Just bought this 2003 SV650S. Needs a little TLC and some upgrades, but overall I’m very happy to be an SV owner again. Rode the Mercer Island Loop and the little twin made me smile. Sure, the stock suspension leaves a lot to be desired as mid-corner bumps unsettled both the chassis and my nerves, but that’s what shock swaps and aftermarket suspension upgrades are for. I got a great deal (thanks Jeff!) making the knowledge that I’ll have to put a little extra into it easier to swallow. Just counted it up, this is my 14th bike since I began my love affair with motorcycles in 2004.

     
  10. Man’s Gotta Ride 

    Friday evening Seward Park sunset. Tahoma looms, beautifully.

     
  11. The view from Ghandi Jones' rooftop apartment, between chess strategy lessons. 1/8/2012. Thanks Keith!

     
  12. Man’s Gotta Take Pictures

    Columbia Center in the clouds. As seen from 4th and Cherry, Downtown Seattle.

     
  13. Here’s some pics from the IMS motorcycle show here in Seattle. I spent some time sitting on the Triumph Street Triple R that will likely be my next bike. They weren’t letting people sit on the new Ducati Panigale, but I got my first look in person and it’s pretty nice. Other than that highlights were just walking around and checking out the “Dream Pavilion” bikes and the vintage classics. Also, the local Speed Shop Design Beezerker you see above is a neat custom build around a 1965 BSA motor that has a lot of cool design elements. Pretty to look at, probably not much fun to ride unless going fast in a straight line, but neat nonetheless. In a sea of goofy choppers as part of a build competition, it definitely stood out in a good way. Good show!

     
  14. Man’s Gotta Eat — Randy’s 

     
  15. In case you missed my previous post about Aaron Huey’s talk on the history of broken treaties and the Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, here’s yet another chance to plug into this important issue. Artist Shepard Fairey and Aaron Huey collaborated on the artwork you see above and subsequent wheat pasting of a giant mural on Melrose in Los Angeles. For more info read Black Hills Land Claim, and if nothing else, please watch this TED talk by Aaron Huey. There’s more street art happening around the country, and you can get involved too. Visit Honor the Treaties and their page on facebook.

    Those of you in Seattle may recognize these, 11th and Pine, if I’m not mistaken.The finished product on Melrose, photo by Eric Becker.